Half of all marriages end in divorce. But the emotional devastation that often accompanies the end of a relationship doesnât have to be a fact as well. There must be a better way. That is the thinking behind Collaborative Divorce (also called Collaborative Practice). This relatively new branch of Family Law offers couples an alternative to âdivorce as usualâ. Couples agree to avoid court, transparency in communication, and interest- and needs-based negotiations. Mental health professionals, trained as Divorce Coaches and Child Specialists are often part of this process. Each client has an attorney and a Divorce Coach, while frequently other neutral professionals assist in the process in order to achieve lasting agreements, which stabilize the family. The divorcing couple works with their coaches to identify their goals, needs and interests, and to enhance communication skills, self-management and negotiation skills. These skills help make the divorce process more efficient and less overwhelming. When there are children the creation of a parenting plan that best serves the need of their family is central. This presentation by an attorney and psychologist/divorce coach will explain this model to attendees. We will describe the various alternatives, in addition to Collaborative Divorce, that couples can choose to divorce or end a domestic partnership.
Ann Buscho, PhD is licensed as a clinical psychologist in the State of California. Her full time private practice focuses on issues related to divorce and parenting. Her interest in collaborative law began as she sought a way to help families minimize the trauma as they navigated the legal and emotional process of divorce and restructuring of their family. She is on the Board of the Marin County Collaborative Law practice group, and recently formed a Bay Area wide study group for advanced clinicians who work in the area of collaborative law. Her interest and work in the area of stress includes her dissertation research (examining the relationship between stress and the onset of an autoimmune disorder). She volunteered for a number of years as a âStress Managerâ with the Marin County Office of Emergency Services, and now volunteers with Marin Medical Reserve Corps and with First Responder Support Network, a residential treatment program for emergency personnel and their families. She has helped children and families since 1993, raised six children, and understands the stresses that families often experience.
Suzan Barrie Aiken, JD is a collaborative family law attorney and mediator committed to facilitating respectful negotiation and creative settlements. Suzan is the President of the Family Law Professionals of Marin with more than twelve years of collaborative law experience. For the past five years, she has devoted her practice exclusively to collaborative law, mediation, and negotiated agreements. She regularly serves as a Pro Tem Settlement Judge in San Francisco and Settlement Panelist in Marin, and previously served as an arbitrator for the Bar Association of San Francisco. Suzan is a founding member of Collaborative Practice California and the Northern California Public Education Committee for Collaborative Practice. Suzan was a Co-Chair of the Third Annual Collaborative Practice California Conference.
June 19, 2014 Subject:
Hypocracy at its Best
I should laugh but it's too painful, at S.B.Aiken in particular. The former community organizer and bulwark of, People Against Racist Violence, is now the head priestess of collaborative law in Marin County, so she has street cred. But did she apply the principals of Collaborative Law and fair play to her son's father? Isn't this the ultimate question? Do you walk the talk? Did you do for yourself what you advocate for others? What about your son, did you involve his father in his life? Did you honor the parenting agreement that you attempted with all your brilliance to avoid? Where you honest? Or did you just lie, and lie, and lie because it was so easy? Of course she can always play with the facts. But to be vanquished and disappeared from your child's life is an amazing example of unequaled cruelty; the nature of how this was accomplished is attributable to Suzan Aiken's brilliant evil mind. Psychopaths like SBA always have two shockingly contrary sides to their personalty. I mean, how can one deny in their personal life what they advocate for others in their professional life? Such is a danger. But to answer the question: where did SBA apply the principles of Collaborative Law when it came to her own son, Beinyiam? She didn't. She wouldn't. She couldn't. She changed his name to Mino, and kept on about her business. Swept his father under the rug, declared him a deceased "drug dealer" and went on about saving the world. Because truth and honesty is for fools and she's trying to get over--and she is, big time. Anybody seeking her advice without knowledge of her past, or her conduct in reference to her own son, is a fool. Save your money. The fact is this. If you have two parties with enough respect (not SBA) to put their child first, you don't need these collaborative pimps to milk you of resources necessary to get back on your feet again. Just work it out like mature adults. These two woman, especially SBA, are not mature adults. But for yourself and the sake of your children, keep these lawyers at arms length. For people of color, especially black men, you do not want this racist predator, SBA, involved in your case, PERIOD. Just because she shows up with some dark gigolo, does not mean that disease we are so familiar with isn't surging through her DNA, because it is. And I know from personal experience. If you are so desperate to turn to her, at least ask some basic questions: Why did you cut your son's father completely out of his life, and turn him against that man like a sharp knife? For women, like the feminists in this discussion, who hold even wealthy, upper-class white professional women as perpetual victims of a male dominated world, you may not notice, but the world has grown up around you. This dreadful one-sided scenario no longer applies necessarily. Suzan for one, had all the power, all the resources, all the support, and her son's father had nothing but his black skin which SBA, Mrs. People Against Racist Violence, used against him like a switch-blade; but she's perfectly at home in her lily white Marin County enclave, where the carpetbagger settled after she fled Santa Cruz, California. I still remember her radical revolutionary Marxist talk from the floor of the Bluehouse; and to see where she stand now and what she imparts is absolutely stunning. But this is the face of the New Jim Crow, we call her Jane Crow.